49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract is about to skyrocket

Trey Lance ended the season after breaking his ankle against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Which means Garoppolo’s earnings are about to increase significantly.

Garoppolo, who signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract in 2018 and was expected to earn around $25 million this year for San Francisco, took a huge pay cut in August to stay in San Francisco after the 49ers failed to trade him during the offseason.

Garoppolo’s new, cheaper deal only included $6.5 million in fully guaranteed base salary, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

But with Sunday’s injury to Lance — who the 49ers sold the farm to in the 2021 draft — Garoppolo’s earnings could increase a ton.

On Sunday alone, he withdrew $350,000 in incentives – to go along with his $382,000 play check and $29,411 bonus per game for being active. He will earn $250,000 more for every game this regular season he plays 25% of the snaps. If Kyle Shanahan doesn’t call too many designed runs and Garoppolo stays healthy for each of the Niners’ remaining 15 games, that’s up to $3.75 million in bonus money. Garoppolo will also earn an additional $100,000 for each win.

And if the 49ers make a deep playoff run, as they have in two of Garoppolo’s first four healthy years (including a Super Bowl run in 2019 and an NFC title game in 2021), he’s in line to earn $500,000 per playoff game where he takes at least half the snaps, plus a $500,000 bonus for winning the conference title and a million dollar payout for winning the Super Bowl.

All told, Garoppolo’s incentives could take him from the highest-paid substitute in the league to something close to a midfielder. In the unlikely event that Garoppolo is healthy for 17 straight wins, the incentives would increase his contract to $15.45 million, putting him in line to potentially earn more than Tom Brady ($15 million), Jameis Winston (14 million), Marcus Mariota ($9.3). million) and a host of guys still on their rookie contracts, including Joe Burrow ($9 million), Lance ($8.5 million), Tua Tagovailoa ($7.5 million) and Justin Herbert (6, $6 million). In the more realistic event that Garoppolo makes another 15 healthy starts and wins nine, he will earn an estimated $4.6 million more, pushing his earnings past $10 million before a playoff series begins.

The ramifications of the short-term cap are non-existent, as the NFL technically classed most of his incentives as “earnable” because he hit a lot last year. Longer term, any incentive Garoppolo earns this year is money that would have been refunded against next year’s cap had he remained on the bench.